Representative Deborah Boone E-Update


Representative Deborah Boone
D-Cannon Beach, District 32

Phone: 503-986-1432 900 Court St. NE, H-375 Salem Oregon 97301
Email: Website:


Greetings from Salem!

The Legislative Days are moving quickly now, as we will be finishing up the session in early March.  This week I want to talk about a successful bill I sponsored, as well as bills that support emergency responders, and make college more affordable.

First, House Bill 4042 A is a Net Metering bill I sponsored to help meet a future need at Oregon Army National Guard Base Camp Rilea.   House Bill 4042 A adds Renewable Marine Energy to types of energy for which availability of Net Metering is required.  This bill was approved on the House floor by a unanimous vote on February 11th, and this Monday, it received unanimous support on the Senate floor, and now awaits the Governor’s signature.  Camp Rilea is seeking to become 100% energy independent, and wants to investigate wave energy devices. The potential supply of energy from wave power would allow the base to have a reliable source in the case of a regional disaster and would help them achieve a net-zero energy initiative. 
This past week, the Oregon House of Representatives passed legislation that will boost support for emergency responders and 911 services that help protect our communities. 
An important funding source for Oregon’s 911 centers comes from a 75-cent monthly surcharge on landlines and standard cell phone lines, but prepaid cellphone users have avoided these charges, although they have benefitted from access to 911 emergency services.  HB 4055 A is the result of years of work to include prepaid cellphones in the funding stream for Oregon’s emergency responders.   Under this policy, phone companies would pay the charge for the first nine months of next year, with customers paying a 75-cent charge on each purchase of prepaid cellphone credits starting in October of 2015.   HB 4055 A also applies to Voice over Internet Protocol service, and is written to ensure the law will apply to future technology innovations.
HB 4055 A passed the House 56-1, and now moves to the Senate for consideration.

After earning national attention for last year’s “Pay it Forward” proposal to allow free university tuition that would be paid back over time, this week Oregon lawmakers approved another idea to make college more affordable.
Senate Bill 1524 B would order the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) to study whether it’s realistic to allow Oregon high school graduates to attend community colleges for free. The bill won approval from the Oregon House of Representatives by a vote of 57-2.
 In the District, we have an excellent example of how this works: the Tillamook Bay Community College’s “First Class Scholar Program” offers two years of free tuition to Tillamook County public school graduates with at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average.  Like the program at TBCC, the concept for free community college, dubbed the “Oregon Promise,” would extend two years of free community college education to students. Within that two-year time period, students could obtain an Associate’s degree, a certificate of learning, or earn credits that can transfer towards a Bachelor’s degree at a four-year university. If the HECC finds the concept feasible for implementation, the commission will propose criteria to the Oregon Legislature later this year.  Because of House amendments adding specific areas for the HECC to consider in its study of the “Oregon Promise,” including anticipated number of participants and annual cost, SB 1524 B now returns to the Senate for concurrence consideration.

Another piece of legislation relating to making college more affordable is HB 4102 A, which will protect Oregon’s students from unfair fees on student loans.  This bill would prohibit public or private post-secondary educational institutions from entering into contracts with financial firms to provide disbursement and management services of student financial aid funds unless there is a clear and complete disclosure of the fee schedule, the student is informed about other available financial aid, and there is the ability for the student to choose a method of funds transfer without incurring a per transaction fee.  There would also be a prohibition on revenue sharing, as in some contracts, the educational institution receives payment back from the third-party vendor so that the school can credit fees charged when a student complains. In one case, half of the contract amount is returned to the school for the school to refund fees to students upon request.  HB 4102 A was approved on the House floor last week and has been referred to the Senate Education and Workforce Development committee.

In mentioning local community colleges, I am reminded that congratulations are in order!!!!  This month Tillamook Bay Community College completed the lengthy process for accreditation, and received the official word that TBCC is now accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Even when the legislative schedule is hectic, I always look forward to visiting with constituents.  If you have a concern or comment about a state agency, or pending legislation, you can write me at 900 Court St. NE Salem, OR 97301, phone 503 986-1432 or email, or when you’re in Salem, stop by my office H-375 in the Capitol.  It is my privilege to represent you in the House of Representatives, and I look forward to hearing from you.


Deborah Boone
State Representative District 32